Things That Matter

Guess What? Latinos Are Often Guilty Of Perpetuating White Supremacy And We Don’t Even Notice It

This past weekend, Americans watched in shock as “alt-right” members, neo-Nazis and white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, attempting to spread their message of hate and intolerance. Clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters were numerous. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a man rammed his car into several counter-protesters. The man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., was later charged with second-degree murder. Earlier that day, he was photographed displaying the symbols of a white nationalist group called Vanguard America, which later denied he was a member.

That weekend journalist Shaun King posted a video of several men beating a 20-year-old man named Deandre Harris. King, who was attempting to confirm the identities of the men behind the beating, found that one of the men, Alex Michael Ramos, identifies as Latino. A group called the Atlanta Antifascists then tweeted that Ramos was affiliated with the Atlanta chapter of the far-right organization Proud Boys and the far-right militia called the Georgia Security Force.

In a Facebook live video that has since been deleted, Ramos claimed he wasn’t racist because he was Puerto Rican.

Credit: Anthony Michael Ramos / Facebook

When a viewer asked why he marched with racists, Ramos said, “I stood by racist people but they weren’t racist to me.” Ramos’ assertion that his Puerto Rican roots meant he couldn’t be racist is a prime example of Latinos who are completely ignorant of their ability to perpetuate white supremacy.

Guess what? Latinos, both here and in Latin America, do and say plenty of things that promote anti-blackness — and most of the time we don’t even blink an eye when it happens. When it comes to discussing racism, we often subscribe to the black vs. white binary that we often see in the United States. If our views aren’t extreme, if we’re not a “full-blown racist,” then we’re completely absolved of perpetuating anti-blackness, right? Wrong. When we think like that, we tend to ignore the colorism — often subtle — that permeates through much of Latin America. It’s a difficult thing to confront, but if we don’t address it within our own community, we can’t expect it to magically resolve itself.

Pulitzer prize-winning Dominican-American author Junot Diaz once said, “White supremacy’s greatest trick is that it has convinced people that it exists always in other people, never in us.”

Don’t believe him?

Earlier this year, Carlos Hakas, the man who angrily knocked over an elotero’s cart in Los Angeles, exclaimed, “I’m not racist, I’m from Argentina!”

Credit: Imelda Reyes / Facebook

In 2015, Univision entertainment reporter Rodner Figueroa compared Michelle Obama to a cast member of “Planet of The Apes.”

When he was fired over the comments, Figueroa wrote an open letter to Michelle Obama saying he isn’t racist because he comes from a bi-racial family.

What about last year, when Black Lives Matter was marching in the streets and you heard someone (maybe it was you) say, “Latinos need to fight for our causes, like immigration reform,” completely ignoring the fact that there are black Latinos?

Credit: Scott Olson / Getty

It doesn’t just happen in the U.S. The idea that anti-blackness is only a thing perpetuated by “white Americans” is what leads a Mexican sports newspaper to make jokes like this one, literally days after a person died in Charlottesville:

Yes, Real Madrid are nicknamed “Los Blancos,” but the joke is clearly rooted in the idea that “white supremacy” is a problem “over there” in the U.S. and not in Mexico, where they released a stamp celebrating a cartoon character that is a racist stereotype.

Last year, Trilce Ortiz listed eight (out of many) ways that Latinos perpetuate anti-blackness.

8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

Right now would be a good time for us to revisit that and not just stop there, but continue to educate ourselves on how we can make sure we’re not promoting white supremacy.

H/T: Latino Rebels

READ: 8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

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Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

Things That Matter

Selena Gomez Is Holding Tech And Social Media Accountable After Trump Mob Shuts Down Congress

VALERIE MACON / AFP via Getty Images

A pro-Trump mob stormed Capitol Hill Jan. 6 following months of President Donald Trump and his allies attacking the 2020 elections. Selena Gomez, like most Americans horrified by the attack, spoke out on social media about what happened. She made it clear that part of this falls on tech companies and social media companies.

Selena Gomez called out social media and tech companies for enabling hateful rhetoric.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have used social media to spread misinformation since he was elected in 2016. Americans have watched as President Trump used Twitter to spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories. There have been so many debunked claims that President Trump and his allies have spread with no consequence.

Recently, Twitter started to flag some of President Trump’s tweets as disputed or misleading. It was the first time a social media platform did something that checked President Trump and his rhetoric.

People quickly came to Gomez’s side to uplift her statement.

President Trump has a long history of hateful and dangerous rhetoric on social media. He has misled her supporters with false statements and has incited violence. The president has defended white supremacists on multiple occasions and even retweeted a video of a man shouting white power.

Social media platforms are finally muzzling President Trump with bans and suspensions.

Twitter has put the president on a temporary suspension after he incited the crowd that breached Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg enhanced the original 24-hour ban to a indefinite ban that will last at least until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. However, people think it is a little too late for these actions.

“Disinformation and extremism researchers have for years pointed to broader network-based exploitation of these platforms,” Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a statement. “As I have continually said, these platforms have served as core organizing infrastructure for violent, far right groups and militia movements for several years now – helping them to recruit, organize, coordinate and in many cases (particularly with respect to YouTube) generate profits from their violent, extremist content.”

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol was avoidable, but it’s clear who incited this violence.

Congress has officially certified President-elect Biden’s win. What should have been a quick process to certify an election turned into a horrifying scene. It is a day that will always define President Trump’s legacy.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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